Despite the strides women have made, stereotypes persist and gender equality is slow coming. As of 2016, a woman earns just above 80 cents for every dollar a man receives — about 20 cents more on the dollar than when the Equal Pay Act passed in the 1960s, yet still far from equitable. The gender gap — pay and representation — tends to be even more pronounced in senior leadership positions at large companies. To this day, some companies do not have any female executives or board members.

Women are inadequately represented in several positions worldwide, most notably within the managerial sector. Only 16 of the 237 companies assessed by research group and equality database LedBetter have female CEOs. Seven of the companies do not have any females in executive positions or on their boards of directors.

To identify the companies with the best and worst female representation, 24/7 Wall St. examined data from research group LedBetter, which created an index of the share of women on the board, as well as the share of women in executive leadership positions at 237 global corporations.

​10. Prada Group
> Women in leadership roles: 22% (board), 50% (executive)
> CEO: Patrizio Bertelli and Miuccia Prada Bianchi
> Industry: Apparel
> Notable brands: Prada, Miu Miu, Church’s
> Revenue: $3.74 billion

This iconic Italian luxury fashion company has been swooning fashionistas all over the world for more than 100 years. The company, which sells luxurious items like upscale accessories and luggage, was founded by current CEO Miuccia Prada Bianchi’s grandfather, Mario Prada.. Together with husband Patrizio Bertelli, Prada Bianchi took over the company in the late 1970s. Bertelli’s business plan matched Prada Bianchi’s avant-garde style and has brought much success to the company over the past 40+ years. Prada Bianchi’s influence lead Prada to produce both men and women’s leather goods. Prada Bianchi and CFO Alessandra Cozzani comprise two of the company’s four executive directorships, making Prada’s executive leadership 50% female — one of the largest shares of any large company.

9. Gap, Inc.
> Women in leadership roles: 30% (board), 43% (executive)
> CEO: Art Peck
> Industry: Apparel
> Notable brands: The Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy
> Revenue: $15.52 billion

Women hold 30% of board positions and 43% of executive positions at Gap, some of the largest shares of any company. In total, women comprise approximately 70% of the apparel retailer’s 135,000-person workforce worldwide. In March 2016, Gap was presented the Catalyst Award, which recognizes corporate initiatives that address the recruitment, development, and advancement of all women. Catalyst honored Gap for its P.A.C.E. program — Personal Advancement & Career Advancement — which provides managerial and life skills to more than 65,000 women throughout 12 countries. Gap was also the first Fortune 500 company to announce that it pays its female and male workers the same wage for the same positions across the globe.


8. Target
> Women in leadership roles: 33% (board), 42% (executive)
> CEO: Brian Cornell
> Industry: Retail
> Notable brands: Archer Farms, Champion, Cherokee
> Revenue: $69.50 billion

Nearly half of Target’s executive positions are filled by women, as well as 33% of the seats on the discount retailer’s board of directors. Also, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Target has recently made efforts to encourage young women to become interested in STEM-related fields. Just a few years ago, the company hosted its second Science and Technology Day at Target’s headquarters, where 150 high school girls showed up and saw demonstrations of how the company utilizes science and technology every day. Additionally, female employees at Target earn over half of all management promotions and nearly 50% of the company’s top salaries.

Source: Anton_Ivanov /

7. Diageo
> Women in leadership roles: 40% (board), 40% (executive)
> CEO: Ivan Menezes
> Industry: Food & beverage
> Notable brands: Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Bailey’s
> Revenue: $24.26 billion

Women hold 40% of both board and executive leadership positions at alcoholic beverage producer Diageo. Women hold some of the highest ranking positions at Diageo, including CFO Kathryn Mikells, President of Diageo North America Deirdre Mahlan, and General Counsel Siobhan Moriarty — who was also featured on the 2017 Financial Times and HERoes “50 Female Champions of Women in Business” list. In recent years, Diageo has been praised for its use of all-female creative teams and its rebranding of drinks such as Baileys Irish Cream to specifically target female consumers. In June, Diageo and several other companies joined the #Unstereotype Alliance, an initiative led by UN Women which seeks to eliminate gender stereotypes in advertising.

Source: Isaaack /

6. L’Oreal 
> Women in leadership roles: 47% (board), 33% (executive)
> CEO: Jean-Paul Agon
> Industry: Personal Care
> Notable brands: L’Oreal, Lancôme, Giorgio Armani
> Revenue: $30.51 billion

With 35 well-known brands such as Maybelline and Garnier, all of which sell cosmetics and beauty products, sold in 140 countries, L’Oreal is one of the largest providers of personal care products in the world. The company has a relatively strong female presence across its senior management, with 47% of board seats and 33% of executive positions occupied by women. L’Oreal has has also made recent efforts to cultivate female entrepreneurs both within and outside of its ranks. For example, in 2011 the U.S. division of the company launched the Women in Digital program, which recognizes successful female-founded technology companies and provides them with funding opportunities as well as the chance to pilot a product with L’Oreal USA. Companies that have participated in the program have collectively raised more than $350 million through L’Oreal’s funding network.

5. Best Buy
> Women in leadership roles: 40% (board), 40% (executive)
> CEO: Hubert Joly
> Industry: Retail
> Notable brands: Best Buy, Geek Squad, Magnolia Audio Video
> Revenue: $39.40 billion

Until relatively recently, Best Buy was one of just a handful of companies in which women held a majority of executive positions. The gender balance at the consumer electronics retailer first shifted in April 2016, when Trish Walker was hired as president of service — the sixth woman on a team of 11 executives. While former CFO Sharon McCollam has since resigned from the company and former Chief Human Resources Officer Paula Baker has left the C-suite to preside over U.S. retail stores, women remain in 40% of Best Buy executive positions and board seats. Best Buy began to focus on the cultivation of female leaders within the company in 2007 with the foundation of its Women’s Leadership Forum (WOLF). Since WOLF was founded, the number of female general managers at Best Buy stores rose 40% and sales from female customers increased by $4.4 billion.

4. Kering
> Women in leadership roles: 64% (board), 29% (executive)
> CEO: François-Henri Pinault
> Industry: Apparel
> Notable brands: Kering, Gucci, Alexander McQueen
> Revenue: $14.58 billion

Women comprise an impressive 64% of the seats on fashion giant Kering’s board of directors. Kering, which owns such luxury brands as Gucci and Alexander McQueen as well as sports brand Puma, claims that advancing gender equality is a priority at the company. Aside from making the company an inviting workplace for women, Kering has partnered with Cannes International Film Festival and launched Women in Motion, a program that showcases women’s contributions to the film industry. Kering also created the Kering Foundation, which helps to end harmful traditional, domestic, and sexual violence against women in Europe, the Americas, and Asia.

Source: Sorbis /

3. H&M Group
> Women in leadership roles: 64% (board), 35% (executive)
> CEO: Karl-Johan Persson
> Industry: Apparel
> Notable brands: H&M, COS, Monki
> Revenue: $23.63 billion

At fast-fashion retailer H&M, women hold 64% of board and 35% of executive positions. H&M also cultivates female leaders outside of the company through its nonprofit organization, H&M Foundation. In addition to providing funding for several causes across the globe, the H&M Foundation hosts the Foundation 500 — a partnership with Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE), which helps female entrepreneurs in poor communities around the world start and develop their own businesses.

While H&M ranks among the best companies for female representation in leadership roles, the company has also been criticized for its treatment of women in its clothing factories. According to one report from the Asia Floor Wage Alliance, workers in Cambodia and India are routinely fired for being pregnant and let go for asking for sick days or refusing overtime.

Source: Casimiro PT /

2. Etsy
> Women in leadership roles: 50% (board), 63% (executive)
> CEO: Josh Silverman
> Industry: Technology
> Notable brands: N/A
> Revenue: $364.97 million

At Etsy, an online marketplace that connects 1.8 million unique sellers more than 30 million active buyers across the globe, 50% of the board seats and 63% of executive positions are held by women. Seeing as nearly 9 out of 10 sellers on Etsy are female, it is fitting that Etsy has made efforts in recent years to increase female representation in the company’s leadership roles. From 2015 to 2016, the number of female managers at Etsy increased by 14%, and the number of women in leadership roles increased by 35%. The company has also taken measures to accommodate employees who identify as neither a man nor a woman. As of 2014, Etsy no longer represents gender in a binary way on its demographic composition reports. In 2015, Etsy converted the bathrooms at its New York City headquarters to be gender inclusive.

Source: John Fowler / Wikimedia Commons

1. Chico’s FAS Inc.
> Women in leadership roles: 56% (board), 73% (executive)
> CEO: Shelley Broader
> Industry: Apparel
> Notable brands: Chico’s, White House Black Market, Soma
> Revenue: $2.48 billion

The company with the greatest female representation among board and executive positions is women’s retailer Chico’s FAS, Inc., at 56% and 73%, respectively. CEO Shelley Broader is one of the few female chief executives among the largest global corporations. Broader began her career as president and CEO of Chico’s FAS, Inc. in 2015, the same year she was featured on Fortune’s Most Powerful Women International List. Broader was hired at a time when Chico’s FAS had been experiencing sluggish sales for years, and was reported to be a buyout target with its stock price down 36% from December 2012 to December 2015. Since then, Broader and her predominantly female executive team have led Chico’s FAS on a successful turnaround, cutting costs and making important hires across the company. Within one year of Broader’s appointment, the company’s share price had risen 41%.



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